Greek Lawmakers Back Bailout Ahead Of EU, ECB Talks

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an impassioned appeal to parliament before the vote.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an impassioned appeal to parliament before the vote.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an impassioned appeal to parliament before the vote.

Greek lawmakers backed a deeply contentious bailout package Thursday, clearing the first hurdle towards securing a rescue hours before fresh talks between eurozone ministers but leaving the radical left government in Athens weakened. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras managed to push through a series of unpopular reforms demanded by the country’s international creditors but the premier suffered a major mutiny within his radical left Syriza party- 32 out of 149 voted against the measures, and a further six abstained- and had to rely on the support of pro-European opposition parties. A final count showed 229 members of parliament out of 300 voted in favour of the measures, which included sweeping changes to Greece’s taxes, pensions and labour rules. Backing from the Greek parliament was a requirement for Athens to secure a third bailout worth up to 86 billion euros from the EU. Eurozone finance ministers on Thursday morning will hold a call to discuss next steps, hours before the European Central Bank’s governing council meets to discuss how to keep Greece’s banks from collapsing. Tsipras is facing a broader revolt over the reforms as Syriza came to power in January on anti-austerity promises. “I had specific choices before me: one was to accept a deal I disagree with on many points, another was a disorderly default,” he said in an impassioned speech to parliament before the vote. We will not back down from our pledge to fight to the end for the right of the working people,” he said, adding that “There is no other option but for all of us to share the weight of this responsibility.”

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Chukwunonso Azinge is a Public health parasitologist whose variety of intrests ranges from international news reportage, writing articles on current world issues and of course football. Follow me on Twitter @azingelfc and on Facebook- Nonso 'King Kenny' Azinge.

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